Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula officinalis) is a perennial shrub of the Lamiaceae family. There are many species of lavender with hundreds of genotypes that differ both in shape and with regard to their content and the composition of their essential oils. Pure choice quality essential oil comes from Lavandula angustifolia or true lavender.
HERBS&OILS cultivates true lavender since 2011 in the Xirolimni region of Kozani, Greece. The plants are grown at an altitude of over 700 m on light, well drained soil with a calcareous composition (pH >6). Lavender can be grown on arid farmland and on soils of moderate fertility. The plant is very resistant to pests and diseases and has a lifespan of 10-12 years.
Lavender is planted in the autumn, using cuttings rather than seedlings. The cuttings are identical to the mother plant, having the exact same DNA, this uniformity facilitates cultivation and harvest. Planting is done with the aid of a special mechanical planter.
The plants are harvested in summer, July or August, depending on weather conditions in the area, with special harvesters. For the production of essential oil, the plants are harvested when 50% of the flowers have withered, while for dry herbal substance, harvesting is done when 25-50% of the buds have bloomed.
The quality of the essential oil depends on the type and content of desired and undesired components, while the yield of a lavender crop, expressed in green mass or in kilograms of essential oil, depends on factors such as the plant material, the plantation site, the soil conditions, the care demonstrated during cultivation and the distillation process.